Robert B. Barnett has a diverse practice representing national and international corporations and individuals on a wide variety of matters.
Bob represents major corporations in litigation matters, corporate work, contracts, crisis management, transactions, government relations, and media relations. During his more than forty years of practice, he has represented clients before almost every executive department and administrative agency in Washington. His clients have included JM Family Enterprises, USAA, Walmart, Toyota, Deutsche Bank, Discovery Communications, Comcast, MacAndrews & Forbes, Revlon, the NBA, Southeast Toyota, Promontory Financial Group, McDonald's Corporation, General Electric, and Toll Brothers, among others.
Bob is one of the premier authors' representatives in the world. His clients have included Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, James Patterson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Bob Woodward, Mary Higgins Clark, Dick Cheney, Bill McRaven, Alan Greenspan, Katharine Graham, Ben Bernanke, John Lewis, Andrew Cuomo, Nikki Haley, Tim Russert, Indra Nooyi, Barbra Streisand, Jack Welch, George Will, Khaled Hosseini, Kal Penn, Bill Walton, Herbie Hancock, Mitch McConnell, Jake Tapper, Phil Knight, several former U.S. Secretaries of State and Secretaries of the Treasury, numerous U.S. Senators and House members, Tony Blair of the United Kingdom, Queen Noor of Jordan, The Prince of Wales, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, and many others, including journalists, novelists, business leaders, sports stars, politicians, and others.
He is also one of the leading representatives of television news correspondents and producers. His clients include Brian Williams, Lesley Stahl, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Steve Doocy, Brit Hume, Rita Braver, Chris Jansing, Neil Cavuto, Cynthia McFadden, Dana Perino, Peter Alexander, Pierre Thomas, Jim Acosta, Nancy Cordes, Erin Moriarty, Major Garrett, Jeff Zeleny, Jesse Watters, Juan Williams, Byron Pitts, anchors in many major television markets, and producers on virtually every major broadcast on network and cable television.
Bob also represents former government officials in conjunction with their transitions to the private sector. His clients have included Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Nikki Haley, Janet Yellen, Madeleine Albright, Karl Rove, Ben Bernanke, James Baker, Larry Summers, Donna Shalala, and many former Cabinet officials, Senators and Congressmen.
The Financial Times Weekend Magazine profile, “The Go-Between,” highlights Bob’s representation over the years of distinguished government officials, authors, television news correspondents, sports figures, and entertainers.
He also represents many corporate and trade association executives and corporations in conjunction with executive compensation agreements. He has represented senior officers of AT&T, The Carlyle Group, Fannie Mae, Bank of America, McDonald's Corporation, the Recording Industry Association of America, Warner Brothers, the Motion Picture Association, Smithsonian Institution, Warner Media, and Deutsche Bank. He also represents many university presidents, deans, and professors.
Bob was ranked Number One on Washingtonian magazine's list of "Washington's Best Lawyers" and as one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by The National Law Journal. He was also named one of the one hundred most powerful people in the entertainment industry by Entertainment Weekly Magazine.
Bob has worked on ten national presidential campaigns, focusing on debate preparation. In addition to playing a major role on the debate preparation teams in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, he played the role of George Bush in practice debates with Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, with Michael Dukakis in 1988, and practice debated Bill Clinton more than twenty times during the 1992 campaign. In 2000, he played the role of Dick Cheney in practices with Joe Lieberman. In 2004, he played the role of Dick Cheney in practices with John Edwards. In 2000 and 2006, he assisted Hillary Rodham Clinton with her Senate debate preparations and helped prepare her for 23 presidential primary debates in 2008. He assisted Barack Obama with debate negotiation and preparation in 2008 and 2012. He assisted Secretary Clinton with her 2016 debates, including playing the role of Bernie Sanders in practice primary debates and Mike Pence in practices for the vice-presidential debate with Tim Kaine.
Bob joined Williams & Connolly in 1975 and has been a partner since 1978. He was a presidentially-appointed member of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from 1994 to 2004 and currently serves as Senior Counsel.